Stop selling state lands
By MIRANDA LA ROSE Friday, September 20 2013
In the face of reports of unauthorised persons attempting to sell State lands they occupy, the Land Settlement Agency (LSA) has warned unsuspecting persons that they will lose their money, and land, if they illegally purchase State lands, and the sellers may face the courts.
Chief Executive Officer of the LSA, Hazar Hosein yesterday told Newsday, “we are trying to protect innocent members of the public who might make a purchase from persons who have no authority to sell State lands.”
Overtime, the LSA has been receiving reports of people who were given permission to occupy state lands under varying arrangements attempting to sell the land they occupy, Hosein said. More recently, he noted, the reports have been more frequent. The LSA, he said has engaged the police to investigate the reports.
Those attempting to sell State lands, he said include some who occupy lands by means of Certificates of Comfort (COC).
Being the holder of a COC, Hosein explained does not mean ownership of the land, as the land is vested in the State. Neither is the land automatically transferable on the death of the holder of the certificate.
“It is only the LSA that has the authority to transfer the lands from one holder to another,” Hosein emphasised.
The sale or purchase, transfer, assignment or reassignment, or other form of disposal of a COC, or of other State land was strictly prohibited, and is against the law, he said. He noted that offenders were liable to be prosecuted in a court of law.
An LSA public notice published in yesterday’s edition of Newsday said that the deadline date to apply for a COC was October 27, 2000.
“One cannot now therefore apply for a COC. Persons who applied for a COC must have been in occupation of State lands, on or before 1st January, 1998,” the notice said. The COCs are prepared and distributed only by the LSA, according to the State Land (Regularisation of Tenure) Act No. 25 of 1998.